Racial Discrimination in Media Coverage

  • xusro

    Posts: 4

    Apr 06, 2015 4:29 PM GMT
    Am I the only one bothered by the racial discrimination with the media coverage of the recent murder of Farkhonda? When the Hebdo Massacre occurred, people throughout the world were saying "Je Suis Charlie" (including me). However, when an Afghan woman is beaten, run over, burnt, and thrown off a roof, for allegedly burning a Qur'an, the majority of people are either unaware of the incident, or don't bat an eye.
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    Apr 06, 2015 4:43 PM GMT
    I was just reading an article on this. And what they did to that poor woman was god awful. However, her death was not in vain. Actually Farkhunda's death has become a rallying point for women's rights activists in Afghanistan. Which is something that's really never heard of.

  • bobbobbob

    Posts: 2812

    Apr 06, 2015 4:53 PM GMT
    xusro saidAm I the only one bothered by the racial discrimination with the media coverage of the recent murder of Farkhonda? When the Hebdo Massacre occurred, people throughout the world were saying "Je Suis Charlie" (including me). However, when an Afghan woman is beaten, run over, burnt, and thrown off a roof, for allegedly burning a Qur'an, the majority of people are either unaware of the incident, or don't bat an eye.


    Here's a link to the murder you should have included in the OP.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Farkhunda

    26 have been arrested for her death. and quoting from the link, "On March 23, hundreds of women protested the attack, demanding that the government prosecute those responsible for Farkhunda's death.[3] Farkhunda's death has also become a rallying point for women's rights activists in Afghanistan.[11] On March 24, thousands of people protested against the attack in front of the Afghan Ministry of Justice in Kabul."

    It sounds as if it is being handled quite well by the authorities in Pakistan.

    Racial discrimination?

    Is that what you call acts of Islamic idiocy? It's not like there's a shortage of other incidents just as or more egregious than the one you're talking about are happening throughout nearly every country dominated by Islam, is there? You can bet that on the day she was murdered there were at least 200 or more others throughout the Islamic sphere of equal cruelty.

    The attack on the staff at Charlie Hebdo was another issue altogether. It was an and organized terrorist attack on non Muslims for exercising freedom of speech and freedom of the press in a secular Western nation.



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    Apr 06, 2015 5:33 PM GMT
    I assume when you say "media coverage" you're referring to news outlets, which nowadays refers to several different organizations that are not identical. There has been coverage on this story by major and minor news outlets.

    The amount of importance placed on one story over others is always subject to the discretion of a news director. People will always argue that one story should be given more attention than another. At the end of the day, the news is a business and needs to cater to it's target audience. It's a balancing act between what people want to know and what people NEED to know. Whatever is chosen must be relevant to the audience, so sometimes serious things that happen in remote locations of the world go unheard because people won't understand it, or it will go ignored.

    Does that apply here? Not really, because there was coverage of this story. But again, each organization is different as is the amount of coverage. Simply put, this story is not all similar to Charlie Hebdo. Both are tragedies, but the Charlie Hebdo story has more elements that resonate with people and generated a discussion about free speech vs. political correctness. And also has the unfortunate advantage of being declared a terrorist attack, a term which can be so problematic.

    With Farkhonda's death, there are a number of interesting angles that can also generate discussion. She was a scholar who was the victim of a terrible attack by a mob of men after being accused by a fortune teller. The government acted, women's right groups acted, and other groups held vigils and protests in other cities. But unfortunately, many people in the west are ignorant about Afghanistan and Islam, so they would write this off for whatever reason they see fit. For that reason, I can see why this was not given more attention, despite how tragic it was.
  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Apr 07, 2015 5:39 PM GMT
    If it makes you feel any better, not many people talk about Charlie Hebdo anymore either. Most people just want religious folks to keep their superstitions to themselves.
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    Apr 07, 2015 9:25 PM GMT
    go_dreaming saidAt the end of the day, the news is a business and needs to cater to it's target audience. It's a balancing act between what people want to know and what people NEED to know.

    Not much of a balancing act from what I've seen; what people want to know always trumps what they need to know. Important news always gets pushed aside or to the back page by stupid crap that sells more newspapers, grabs more eyes, etc.

    For example, nothing could be more unimportant than the death of a movie star or a dermatologist to movie stars but you can be sure that people will be agog when that's reported.
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    Apr 08, 2015 12:35 AM GMT
    I don't think I've ever heard of a celebrity dermatologist making big news. But in regards to movie stars dying, or any "person of prominence" as one of my instructors taught us, yes that's often the case.

    The main reason why these stories are given a lot of attention is because they are recognizable. Even knowing a celebrity's name means that they have had an affect on you. You're even more affected if you are a fan of their work. When they hear that someone they recognize has died, it will generate emotion, which is really what lots of media tries to do.

    Beyond that, the circumstances can make the story an even bigger news item. Take Robin Williams' suicide for example. He was a highly celebrated actor known for his outrageous comedy and lighthearted demeanor. Even though we should know by now that anyone can suffer from mental illness, it was such a shock to hear that he had taken his own life. And of course, this was all people could talk about for days. Therefore giving it a priority in news coverage makes sense because it generates discussion and keeps people engaged.

    Generally these stories don't have an imminent effect on the majority of people who receive the news. So I understand why people may write off these stories as being unimportant when considering other things that affect them in the long run. However, it should be clear to see why these stories are given preference when they illicit such a reaction in people.
  • xusro

    Posts: 4

    Apr 09, 2015 2:07 AM GMT
    This was certainly a result of Islamic Idiocy, however, the victim was an Afghan woman.